The good folks at The Japan Daily picked up several of today's blog posts for sharing with their readers.
To read The Japan Daily, go here.
To read The Japan Daily, go here.
|Above, a bullet train's view of Kyoto Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
TOKYO, Mar 13, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - JCB Co., Ltd.("JCB"), the only global payment brand based in Japan, is pleased to announce that it will open the JCB Plaza Kyoto customer service center for visitors to Japan on April 1, 2015. Located in the Kyoto Station Building, and designed to provide a calm, tranquil atmosphere based on the Japanese concept, the new JCB Plaza Kyoto offers JCB services to support travelers such as sightseeing information, restaurant and hotel reservations, free internet browsing and daily baggage check.
|Above, a sushi meal in Asakusa. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
While Tokyo life may not be getting any cheaper, the city's appetite for great value food has never been bigger. Tokyoites love to eat out – a lot – and this has made it one the best cities in the world for quality at a low price. We set out on a quest to find the very best cheap eats in the metropolis, and came back with far too many eateries to include here. The spots listed below are our top picks, and constitute a complete A to Z of where to dine on a budget.
Some of the venues in the list below are very traditionally Japanese, but they span a range of styles – ramen of course, but also yakitori, tempura, oden, gyoza, monja and okonomiyaki, curry-rice, soba and udon, and even (you guessed) sushi.
|Above, Narita Airport's Terminal One Arrival Lobby. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
As part of ongoing efforts to become the airport choice of their customers, Narita Airport will further develop their hospitality program for international transit passengers, by including free use of lounges, use of showers at half-price and more events to introduce Japanese culture.To read more, go here.
The dollar hovered moderately above ¥120 in Tokyo trading late Tuesday, the final day of Japan’s fiscal 2014, with the upside capped by the Nikkei stock average’s sluggishness and the downside underpinned by buying on dips.
At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥120.20-20, up from ¥119.67-67 at the same time Monday.It is interesting to note that the dollar was around ¥104 a year ago.
|Above, the motorhome's galley. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, the electronics meccs of Akihabara, Tokyo. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
In Osaka, there are several places to go to for electronics. You can go to the big chains like Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera, or you can venture into Den Den Town. You can find just about anything you are looking for in Osaka, at a price. Sometimes that price is paid in frustration.
Here are some steps you can take to avoid unnecessary problems.To read more, go here.
|Above, an Asakusa, Tokyo sushi restaurant. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
How do YOU eat sushi? Do you smear extra Wasabi on top? Pick up the sushi with chopsticks and dip the rice into soy sauce (and let it linger to absorb the salty juices)? I like to bite into the sushi to split it in half; then, I can feel the tenderness of the fish (and feel like I have more pieces to eat). Some people I know like to use mayo, Sriracha, or eel sauce on their sushi. I like to mix the wasabi and soy sauce together to form a greenish-brownish paste. And others remove the fish from the rice and enjoy them separately, or even discard the rice.
Many people don’t know that there is actually a “proper” way to eat this beloved cuisine. Eating sushi comes with its own unique table manners that got lost with the rise in popularity and accessibility. However, knowing these rules can give you insight on what you are being served and how to show respect/gratitude to the chef.To read more, go here.
|Above, Mount Rushmore National Monument. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, Devil's Tower National Monument. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, Upper Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, lots of seafood for sale at the Tsukiji Fish Market. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Tsukiji Fish Market is one of my tip-top favourite Tokyo experiences, but what with increasingly unstable relations between the vendors (for whom this is their livelihood) and tourists (for whom it is a fascinating attraction), it is important to know how to “do” Tsukiji properly.
Located right in the middle of Tokyo, next-door to Hamarikyu Gardens and near the upmarket Ginza district of town, Tsukiji is the largest seafood market in the world, and makes a fantastic (and free) addition to any Tokyo itinerary.
And since it was announced that Tsukiji will soon be moving from its current location to a site in Toyosu (a 20-minute bus or train ride from its current spot), you really will have to get in there quick – before it changes for good!To read more, go here.
|Above, there are many duty-free shops to be found in Tokyo's Akihabara "Electric Town." Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
TOKYO: Japanese stores are offering tourists tax free shopping. In fact, the government’s growth target of 10,000 tax-free shops by 2020 has already been achieved since it was implemented in October.
Tax free Shopping have hit their government target five years early, as the number offering the service shot up by 60% in the last six months.
As of October 1st, duty-free products in Japan, previously limited to electronics and clothing, included items like food and cosmetics.To read more, go here.
|Above, the Drudge Report's banner headline and a favorite ad of mine.|
LAUSSANE, Switzerland—The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.
U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran.
Until recently, the Obama administration had maintained that it would guarantee oversight on Tehran’s program well into the future, and that it would take the necessary steps to ensure that oversight would be effective. The issue has now emerged as a key sticking point in the talks.
Concern from sources familiar with U.S. concessions in the talks comes amid reports that Iran could be permitted to continue running nuclear centrifuges at an underground site once suspected of housing illicit activities.
This type of concession would allow Iran to continue work related to its nuclear weapons program, even under the eye of international inspectors. If Iran removes inspectors—as it has in the past—it would be left with a nuclear infrastructure immune from a strike by Western forces.a administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran.To read more, go here.
|Above, the Godaido temple at Matsushima Bay. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
The number of "overnight guests" in Japan rose to a record high in 2014, but the disaster-stricken Tohoku region is still struggling to reel in foreign tourists.
Japanese and foreign tourists stayed 472.32 nights at hotels and inns in Japan last year, up 1.4 percent from 2013, according to Japan Tourism Agency figures released March 26.
The figure is ascribed to a surge in the number of foreign visitors, who stayed 44.82 million nights, up 33.8 percent.
The comparable figure for Japanese tourists, however, dropped by 1.1 percent, with the increase in the consumption tax rate in April 2014 cited as a key factor.Foreign tourists are missing some great scenery in the Tohoku region by not visiting. The tourist industry in Tohoku could use the big lift that increased foreign tourism would give. I visited Sendai and Matsushima Bay in 2006.
|Above, Nakamise Street, a popular shopping area for foreign tourists. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
TOKYO —The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) says the amount of money spent by foreign tourists in 2014 surpassed the preceding year by 43.1%, totaling 2.0278 trillion yen and exceeded two trillion yen for the first time ever.To read more, go here.